Russian Federation celebrates team's run despite World Cup exit

Russia’s Denis Cheryshev celebrates scoring their first goal

Russia's unexpected World Cup run ended on penalties after a thrilling quarter-final against Croatia on Saturday, and the hosts left the stage having earned the admiration of fans both home and overseas for their indomitable spirit.

Croatia can equal what that 1998 team did if it beats Russian Federation on Saturday in the quarterfinals and perhaps finally rid itself of that 20-year shadow. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

At 1-1, Fernandes missed his shot - only the second player to miss in any of the four shoot-outs at this year's World Cup.

"Another drama for us", said Real Madrid midfielder Modric.

"It's an adventure", said McNulty.

"How far can we go?" First, his team needs to get past France on Tuesday to earn a spot in the final for the first time.

It set the tone as Croatia became the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win consecutive World Cup games on penalties.

Cherchesov insisted that Russian Federation won over the entire country with their performance during the tournament. It will be a battle again but I believe in us. Croatia has never made the Euro semifinals.

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"Of course there's power left for the English", Dalic said.

Croatia will now face England on Wednesday in Moscow and after two long and tiring games they will surely start as heavy-legged underdogs. I asked him and he said he was OK, it did not affect him much.

President Vladimir Putin did not attend the game, but watched remotely, saying the players were heroes despite the defeat and the country was proud of them, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by Interfax.

Immediately after his penalty went in Rakitic was mobbed by his team-mates - in repeat scenes of Croatia's last-16 shootout victory over Denmark.

"I think we are just enjoying the journey, that's definitely helped us, everything we've done has been based on enjoyment", he added.

Yet they only led for the first time when Domagoj Vida's header found its way into the net through a crowd of players in the first half of extra time.

Ex-Real Madrid forward Davor Suker, the current president of the country's football federation, was the golden boot victor in 1998 with six goals for a team that also featured AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban, as well as defenders Igor Stimac and Slaven Bilic - both of whom played in England. "This is the character of the four teams remaining in the tournament".

"No other team in the world has fans like we do".

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